I used to hide from other women.
It’s kind of a joke in my family. We laugh about how God chooses people who seem like an extraordinarily bad fit for a job, and he knows all along that it’s going to work out. Like, when he chose a woman that used to hide from other women to minister to women.
When I say that I used to hide from other women, I mean that I used to hide from other women. If you’ve hung out with me for any length of time, you know that about me.
If I saw you coming toward me in Walmart and you were not my very best friend, I sought shelter in the detergent aisle. It’s not that I didn’t like you, but I wasn’t sure that you’d like me. That sounds so far-fetched now. I wish I could scoop up that young mom who had a pretty great smile and something to offer, and let her know that she didn’t have to hide between the Downy dryer sheets and Tide detergent.
Those smells still make me feel safe. ♥
Because it used to be my battle, I recognize that insecurity in others.
Like, the woman who trembled when she drove up to pick me up for dinner. We didn’t know each other well, but I liked her already.
Or that young woman who put herself out there, but worried over every word she said, apologizing as if her words could somehow be so off putting that I’d reject her.
I have always been able to see beauty in people, even the teens that I once worked with who sat on the back row and put out all kinds of signals that said, “Don’t tread here.”
Some people saw “bad kids.” I saw talented, or funny, or all kinds of potential.
I’m not sure when it happened, but I started to see those same things in myself. It wasn’t an ego thing, because when you grow up and things are hard, and you are super skinny, and you have psoriasis from head to toe, you don’t usually acquire that gene.
Does this have anything to do with faith?
I believe it does.
How many times did Jesus look at someone and immediately tell them something about themselves that they didn’t know?
Peter, you are a rock.
Um, nope. I’m the guy who is impulsive and by the way, one day I’ll let you down in a pretty big way.
Later, Jesus kneels beside him (after he let him down) and reminds him once again that he is a rock.
There are a lot of things that influence the way we see ourselves. I’ve mentioned a few: childhood, our appearance, our background, the way that others perceive us, words spoken over our hearts, things like psoriasis (and I added rosacea to the mix a few years ago – I am a dermatologist’s dream).
Years ago if you had whispered “Bible teacher” or “speaker” or “author” to the girl who had just come to faith, I wouldn’t have believed you. In fact, ten years after that and ten more years after that, I would have struggled to believe. But I’m more than a Bible teacher, more than a speaker, more than an author.
A woman who loves deeply. A woman who is goofy with her family. A woman who prays to be generous. A woman who loves roller coasters, and key lime pie, and who is happiest when she’s hiking.
A woman created and fashioned and formed for a purpose.
Faith requires that, at some point, we start to see ourselves like God does: beloved, chosen, mine, heir, daughter. https://ctt.ec/vZF4N+
But how, Suzie?
I wish it was like jumping on a Stairmaster and six weeks later, poof all the weight is gone.
It’s a little less sudden.
It may take a year or a lifetime.
I love that about this aspect of our faith! It means that I’m not a quick fixer upper. Slap some paint on and she’s good as new. Instead, he starts in the deepest parts of us and gently brings them to the surface.
See this, Suzie? The fact that you once hid in the detergent aisle was due to some insecurity. You got that at the age of 13 when you were skinny and things were hard at home. Hiding (whether behind a book, or in a bathroom stall) made you feel safe, but it also kept you from discovering what I know about you.
Where does it begin?
Perhaps it begins as we open our hearts to the possibility that God sees something that we don’t. We don’t have to figure that out for him. He already knows. We don’t have to tell him all the stuff that is wrong with us. He may see it the way we do, but likely his eternal perspective is a little more broad.
We rest in the fact that it’s going to take a while, and that’s okay.
We give ourselves permission to grow. We take a deeper look at something, as the Holy Spirit leads, and if there’s a wound he wants to heal, we give him access.
We celebrate the smallest victories.
Again, if you’ve been around for any length of time, you’ve heard me say this. We tend to look at where we need to go, and forget to celebrate how far we’ve come. What if we started to throw a mini-party or two a week to celebrate what God is doing.
In fact, what if we did that today?
Today’s Day #8 on our 21 Days to Adventure and our assignment is a little different.
I want you to share one word that you either used to believe about yourself, or that you’ve held on for far too long.
Then I want you to replace that with either a scripture about your true identity, or one word that you sense the Holy Spirit speaking over you.
You can do that in your journal, or here, or both.
Today is a community day in this adventure.
I want all of us to feel welcome to share our word, and then we’ll cheer each other on as you replace it with another. If you know someone and there’s a beautiful word that you believe fits that person, will you hit “reply” under their comment and speak that word over that person?
Let’s cheer each other on as we start to step into the new God is doing in each of us!
- The Mended Heart: God’s Healing for Your Broken Places
- The Mom I Want to Be: Rising Above Your Past to Give Your Kids a Greater Future